I thought it would be a great idea to share some of my tips on how to shop on a budget. I can't begin to explain how excited I get when I save money, it literally gives me a rush and a sense of achievement. With the cost of living going up by what seems like the minute it's important to learn how to be frugal in all aspects of your life. When it comes to shopping for anything from clothes to food, I take advantage of all my resources in order to save money.
1 - SET A BUDGET: You should always have a set amount of money in mind that you are willing to spend on your next shopping trip. When setting a budget I take the following things into consideration: are my bills paid? how many more days until my next pay check? how much money do I have saved?
2 - MAKE A LIST: If you ask anyone that knows me they will tell you that I ALWAYS have a list or am in the process of making one. For years I have managed to stay on budget when shopping by making a list of what I need. By doing this you will enable yourself to focus on what you truly need and therefore staying within your budget. I make a list for every aspect of my life - food, personal, clothing, holidays, etc.
3 - PRIORITIZE: I'm guilty of adding things to my list that I don't really NEED (especially when I go to Target). To help me with this dilemma I prioritize my list based on the need for that particular item. If I have money left over I treat myself to something else that was on my list.
4 - SEARCH FOR SALES: Many large retailers frequently have in-store/online sales. If you would like to buy yourself a new handbag but don't want to buy it at full price, hold off until the next Friends & Family event. You can save as much as 40% during some Friends & Family events.
5 - SHOP AROUND: Doing this can save you a significant amount of money. I purchased the beautiful necklace pictured below for only $11.00!!! I saw the same exact necklace online for $29.95. The internet is great for shopping around because it saves you time and costs you nothing.
6 - PRICE MATCH/ PRICE ADJUSTMENTS: Stores like Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon, etc. offer price match. If you see a lower rate listed at another store, you can notify the retailer and they will mtach the price or refund you the difference. Similarly, if you purchase and item and it goes on sale within two weeks from the date of purchase, the store will refund you the difference!!!
7 - SEARCH FOR COUPONS/PROMO CODES: You can find coupons in the Sunday newspaper, circulars, magazines, catalogues, etc. Promotional codes can easily be found by doing a simple search on any search engine. When searching for promo codes, I simply type in the name of the store along with "promotional codes," it can be a while before I find one that works but in the long run it's worth it because it saves me money!
8 - SIGN UP TO PRIVATE SHOPPING SITES: These are a great way to get your hands on designer brands without actually paying full price for them. Even frugal fashionistas like endulging in luxury brands and private shopping sites like Gilt, Hautelook, Ideeli, Rue La La, LivingSocial and Groupon make that possible. Most private shopping sites are free to join, so you have no excuse not to sign up!!!
9 - THRIFT SHOP: I have recently discovered the beautiful world of thrift shopping. It's a great way to find unique items for dirt cheap. On a good day you can find luxury brands and vintage pieces which is always exciting! I've read about bloggers finding vintage Chanel handbags at thrift shops!
10 - BECOME A REWARDS MEMBER: These days you can become a rewards member almost anywhere. They are almost always free to sign up and are a great way to receive coupons and special offers. I'm a rewards member queen, just look at my key chain!